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SA envoy to Zimbabwe after 'eerie silence from South African government' - DA

7 August 2020 8:27 AM
Tags:
Zimbabwe
SADC
South Africa
African Union
President Cyril Ramaphosa
South African envoy

Ramaphosa is no stranger to the players involved and therefore well-placed to have taken action sooner, suggests DA's Bergman.

Two weeks ago Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chi'nono tweeted out a message that he was being arrested for speaking out against corruption and oppression by the Zimbabwean regime. The tweet was widely shared.

However, the government there clamped down hard on the protest action planned for 31 July in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean civil society, organisations like Amnesty International as well as the Democratic Alliance, called on SADC, the African Union, and South Africa to move away from quiet diplomacy but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Only on Thursday did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announce a special envoy made up of Baleka Mbete and Dr Sydney Mufamadi would be sent to Zimbabwe to find out how South Africa can assist.

DA shadow minister for international relations and cooperation, Darren Bergman, speaks to Refilwe Moloto about whether a special South African government envoy to Zimbabwe.

When we talk about President Ramaphosa we are talking about the chairman of the African Union and president of the country neighbouring Zimbabwe and offering much infrastructure to Zimbabwe and the stability of the SADC region.

Darren Bergman, Shadow Minister for International Relations - DA

Ramaphosa is no stranger to the players involved and therefore well-placed to have taken action sooner, suggests Bergman.

He is a person that is well respected around the table and no stranger to someone who should be able to pick up the phone and talk and have a diplomatic discussion.

Darren Bergman, Shadow Minister for International Relations - DA

And yet there has been an eerie silence from the South African government, he says.

Bergman raises questions about the composition of the envoy Ramaphosa has selected.

What part are these two playing in the current government, and in the current international circles?

Darren Bergman, Shadow Minister for International Relations - DA

It is almost like, OK guys let's wait and see, let's buy ourselves some time, we don't have to make a statement yet. We can now tell the world we've sent an envoy.

Darren Bergman, Shadow Minister for International Relations - DA

Bergman says the South African government's contradictory responses to Zimbabwe speaks to differing ideologies within the ANC itself.

They hardly say anything. They try to appease everyone and they're not condemning anything.

Darren Bergman, Shadow Minister for International Relations - DA

With the streets of Zimbabwe so quiet since 31 July, he says, now is the time the world needs to sit up and take note of what is really going on in that country.

The DA is calling for SADC to send its own envoy to Zimbabwe.

Listen to the interview below:


7 August 2020 8:27 AM
Tags:
Zimbabwe
SADC
South Africa
African Union
President Cyril Ramaphosa
South African envoy

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